Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents thousands of bus workers, has strongly welcomed a pledge by Labour to reverse Tory cuts to bus services and invest in new routes.

3,000 route cuts

The Campaign for Better Transport has found that since 2010, over 3,000 bus routes have been cut or withdrawn as a result of Tory cuts.

Labour will create a Bus Transformation Fund which will invest £1.3 billion a year into bus services, which will more than reverse the £645 million a year real term cuts the Conservative government has made to bus services since 2010.

Devastating effect

The cut in bus routes has a devastating effect on rural communities especially with vulnerable groups such as the elderly. Since 2010 there has been a 10 per cent decrease in bus passengers.

During the same period that bus services have been reduced, bus fares have also increased by 32 per cent, well above the rate of inflation.

Essential lifeline

Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton, said: “Bus services provide an essential lifeline for people living in towns and rural communities.

“Labour’s commitment to invest in bus services is to be strongly welcomed. As well as providing much needed employment it will help to tackle the twin evils of poverty and isolation that takes hold in communities when bus services are cut.

“Frequent and reliable bus services boost social mobility which helps to expand the local economy and creates local employment opportunities.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.